Did you know that about 20 million Americans are terrified of needles? So you're not alone if you suffer from this common "needles" worry.
This dental phobia is called belonephobia, which means "fear of needles" in Greek. In plain English, it is known as needle phobia, with many other names related to it such as aichmophobia, fear of pointed objects; algophobia, fear of pain; and trypanophobia, fear of injections.
As trivial as needle phobia may seem, this is nothing to take lightly. Aside from causing major stress and dental anxiety, fear of needles may prevent patients from seeking the medical and dental care they need -- they may try to avoid any dental treatment or procedure involving needles, even one as minor as taking a tiny drop for a blood sample.
This may also be one of the reasons people have dental anxiety. That's why learning more about needle phobia, its causes and treatment can be a good first step to finally getting much-needed professional oral care.
We all fear needles to some extent -- who wants to be poked with sharp pointy things? But feeling a little anxiety from just the mere thought of a needle is different from what a needle phobic actually feels. Here are some symptoms that indicate needle phobia:
Studies show that most phobics do not really understand their fear of needles. This leads some experts to believe that needle phobia may be caused by other underlying issues from past experiences such as the following:
Knowing the true cause of your fear will make it easier for you to address your phobia and get the dental care you need, though it does take a lot of time, patience and courage to treat any phobia. But don't fret -- here are some ways to still get the care required for good oral health despite your needle phobia:
By surrounding yourself with supportive family, friends and most especially an understanding doctor and dentist, getting the medical and dental care you need won't be as scary anymore.